Fun Facts about Snow

Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Then let it snow! The cold winter months have settled across Europe, North America, and much of Asia and the Middle East, and we've already seen our first snowfall of the season.

Snow continues to divide opinion. Some people love to have snowball fights, build snowmen (and snowwomen!) and go sledging. But snow can also cause serious problems, including airport delays, power cuts, and in some tragic cases even death.

Although most of us know what snow looks like, many people across the world have never seen and experienced it in real life. Whether you've never made a snowman before or you’re an expert at ice-skating, we've come up with some fun facts about snow to get you ready for the white stuff.

Snow Flake Magnified
A snowflake as seen under a microscope.

  • We all know snow is white - or is it? Snow is actually colorless, it just looks white because it absorbs and reflects light.
  • All snowflakes have six sides and consist of beautiful, intricate patterns. The average flake falls at 1.7 meters per second.
  • Some people love it, some people hate it, some people are even scared of it. Chionophobia is the word to describe a fear of snow.
  • The largest snowman ever made was actually a snowwoman! It was constructed in Maine in the USA, and measured a massive 122 ft (37 meters) tall. She had trees for arms and skis for eyelashes!

Snowman
This snowman has got a long way to go to beat the record!

  • There is a popular myth that Inuits (or Eskimos) have over 100 words for snow. This is not true. In fact, there are many different Inuit languages, although most share three distinct root words  for snow. These translate as: 'falling snow', 'fallen snow', and 'snow on the ground'.
  • The largest snowflake ever recorded (according to the Guinness Book of Records) measured 38 cm wide and 20 cm thick, and landed in Montana, USA, in 1887.
  • Make sure you never get caught in a blizzard: a single snowstorm can drop up to 40 million tons of snow and carries the energy equivalent to 120 atom bombs!
  • One of the earliest recorded snowball fights was also one of the biggest. During the American Civil War in 1863, a friendly snowball fight in an army camp got out of hand and escalated into a brawl involving around 9,000 soldiers.

Do you get lots of snow where you're from, or have you never even made a snowball? Let us know what it's like in your country by leaving a comment below!

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